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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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exclusion of Lwow from Poland.* Apart from all that has happened since,
I cannot conceive that we should not regard ii as a well-informed and fair
proposal.
" There are two things to be remembered in justice to our great Ally.
I can look back to August, 1914, when Germany first declared war against
Russia under the Tsar. In those days, the Russian frontiers on the" west
were far more spacious than those for which Russia is now asking after all
her sufferings and victories. The Tsarist frontiers included all Finland
and the whole of the vast Warsaw salient stretching to within 60 miles of
Breslau. Russia is, in fact, accepting a frontier which over immense
distances is 200 or 300 miles further to the east than what was Russian
territory and had been Russian territory for many generations under the
Tsarist regime. Marshal Stalin told me one day that Lenin objected to the
Curzon^ Line because Bialystok and the region round it were taken from
Russia.f Marshal Stalin and the modern Soviet Government make no such
claim and freely agree with the view taken by the Allied Commission of 1919
that the Biaiystok region should go to Poland because of the Polish popula-
tion predominating there.
" We speak of the Curzon Line. A line is not a frontier. A frontier
has to be surveyed and traced on the ground and not merely cut in on a
map by a pencil and ruler. When my right hon. Friend and I were at
Moscow in October, Marshal Stalin made this point to me, and at that
time he said that there might be deviations of 8 to 10 kilometres in either
direction in order to follow the courses of streams and hills or the actual
sites of particular villages. It seems to me that this was an eminently
sensible way of looking at the problem. However, when we met at Yalta
the Russian proposal was changed. It was made clear that all such minor
alterations would be at the expense of Russia and not at the expense of
Poland in order that the Poles might have their minds set at rest once and
for all and there would be no further discussion about that part of the
business. We welcomed this Soviet proposal.
"... There is a second reason which appeals to me . . . But for the
prodigious exertions and sacrifices of Russia, Poland was doomed to utter
destruction at the hands of the Germans. Not only Poland as a State and as
a nation, but the Poles as a race were doomed by Hitler to be destroyed or
reduced to a servile station. Three and a half million Polish Jews are said
to have been actually slaughtered. It is certain that enormous numbers
have perished in one of the most horrifying acts of cruelty, probably the
most horrifying act of cruelty, which has ever darkened the passage of man
on the earth. When the Germans had clearly avowed their intention of
making the Poles a subject and lower grade race under the Herrenvolk,
*) It is difficult to accept that this chapter was strictly in accord with history.
(See p. 234). In 1919 Britain and France were both at war with Russia and there
was no question of denning Poland's frontiers. The e Line * was a temporary
measure  Professor Paton stated, (A History of the Peace Conference of Paris
Vol. VI, p. 275) : " at the time it (this line) was drawn up only as a provisional
minimum frontier (of Poland) and that both the French and the Americans believed
that the final line should be further to the East."
}) There is no confirmation of any such objection to the c Curzon Line J on the
part of Lenin in the records of history. On December 22, 1919, a fortnight after
the definition by f an expert Commission * of the line of December 8, the Soviets,
through the medium of J. Marchlewski, offered Poland a frontier 250 miles east-
ward of the future * Curzon Line ' still including historic Poland, and one hundred
miles to the east of the frontier of the Riga Treaty. This Soviet proposal was
repeated formally by the Soviets in a note of January 29,1920, and signed by Lenin,
Chicherin and Trotsky.
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